How should we interpret silence in qualitative communication studies?

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Through an interdisciplinary literature review, based on empirical evidence, this research approaches different ways of interpreting silence(s) in three qualitative research methods—ethnography, focus groups and interviews—which, by their nature, are conducive to practices that resort to silence as units of meaning. The findings presented in this paper demonstrate how, in different data collection techniques, it is possible to rethink not only the whole conception of what silence is but also what silence can (or cannot) help to express. From a qualitative perspective in the social sciences and humanities, silence can in itself be a means of expression and a valid communication resource.
Original languageEnglish
Article number310
Number of pages12
JournalSocial Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2024


  • Qualitative research
  • Silence
  • Interaction
  • Interpretation
  • Communication


Dive into the research topics of 'How should we interpret silence in qualitative communication studies?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this